Student marshals announced for Penn State Wilkes-Barre commencement

A split image of a man at left and a woman on a bench with the Nittany Lion at right

John Stone, left, and Cloe Mazzatosta are this year's student marshals for commencement.

Credit: Penn State

DALLAS, Pa. — John Stone and Cloe Mazzatosta have been named student marshals for Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s commencement ceremonies, announced Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Lynda Goldstein.

“John and Cloe exemplify what it means to be successful students through not only their academic achievements, but also their campus involvement and leadership,” Goldstein said. “We are extremely proud of their accomplishments and wish them, and all our graduates, the best in their future endeavors.”

Stone will receive a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering technology and Mazzatosta will receive a bachelor of science degree in information technology with a minor in security risk analysis. They were chosen as student marshals based on their grade-point averages as the highest in their graduating class.

Stone completed his degree in two and a half years, finishing his coursework in December. He earned credits from dual enrollment courses throughout high school and took 18 to 23 credits each semester to achieve his goal of finishing his degree and moving into the workforce as quickly as possible.

He obtained a position as controls engineering for Amazon distribution centers, leading an HMI (human machine interface) development project. In that role, he creates a plan to execute projects, develops the projects by writing code and visits company sites to ensure the code functions properly.

“Penn State Wilkes-Barre prepared me for the self-dependence and critical thinking that is required for my career,” Stone said. “Due to all the laboratory work I did in my classes, I was uniquely prepared to work with teams and communicate high-level information in an understandable ways.”

He completed an internship at Multi-Dimensional Integration (MDI), based near Allentown, through a reference from Tim Sichler, associate teaching professor of electrical engineering technology and EET program coordinator. Stone was a member of the campus Academic Integrity Committee for the campus and the 4 Seasons Club.

A homeschool graduate in 2021, Stone credited his parents and his faith for putting him on the path to success.

“I would attribute my success to my faith and strong Christian values that come with it. My faith has helped me keep my priorities straight and do what I needed to in order to succeed,” he said. “The rest of credit goes to my parents. They helped me and set me on this path. Without their help and guidance, I would have never been able to do any of this.”

As valedictorian, Stone will address his fellow graduates. In his speech, he plans to talk about the resources his fellow graduates will have available to them as Penn State alumni.

“My advice to them is to take advantage of the resources that Penn State provides alumni and to keep your priorities straight and stay true to your values,” Stone said.

Mazzatosta, a graduate of Holy Redeemer High School, is known for her involvement with numerous clubs and activities on campus in addition to her high academic achievement.

She served as president of the 4 Seasons Club and the Blue and White Society, as well as a senator and club representative for Student Government Association (SGA). She highlighted the events held during her time leading the 4 Seasons Club, including a club bonfire and a visit to a haunted attraction, as among her favorite campus experiences.

“I made the right choice staying at a small campus,” Mazzatosta said. “During the beginning of the spring semester of my sophomore year, I was sitting in class and had a realization that I didn’t want to leave Penn State Wilkes-Barre. I had grown so close and knew almost all of the students and faculty at the school, so I had trouble imagining myself leaving this close-knit family for such a large campus in a few short months. I had also gotten very involved in clubs and organizations here and only wanted to get more involved with the thought of staying at this campus. Staying here was such a good decision and I really feel that in these additional two years at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, I was able to grow academically and personally.”

She interned with the Information Technology department at Penn State Wilkes-Barre during her senior year. She has also been involved at the dance company Joan Harris Centre in Luzerne for the past 19 years.

“I’ve always been someone who has liked to keep busy,” Mazzatosta said. “So, after doing well my first semester, I challenged myself to see how I could do academically each semester. I still continued to do my other extracurricular and hobbies but also tried and push myself to do well in school. Though at times I was very hard on myself, I am proud that I was able to balance everything well. It really helped me build good time-management skills, too.”

Mazzatosta plans to stay in northeastern Pennsylvania to work and get involved in the community. She has a passion for programming and hopes to pursue a career in that area.

“The courses at Penn State Wilkes-Barre were extremely helpful in preparing me for my future. I enjoyed having smaller classes since it felt like a much more personalized learning experience,” she said. “I also feel like I was challenged and pushed out of my comfort zone just the perfect amount in my classes to allow me to feel more prepared for what life throws at me. On top of the courses, my professors and advisers were the best when it came to preparing me for my future after graduation. They were some of my biggest cheerleaders during my academic career and always willing to help whenever needed.”